A- Scholarship

B- Education Outreach

C- Future Rockhounds of America

D- History

A. SCHOLARSHIP Reno Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. 

RGMS Earth Sciences Scholarship - $1,500
To be eligible for this $1,500 scholarship applicant must be at least a part-time student taking 6 credits or more and enrolled into either Truckee Meadows Community College or the University of Nevada—Reno.

B: EDUCATION OUTREACH Reno Gem and Mineral Society, Inc.           

Presenters: Steve Norman, Retired School teacher and Debbie Bush, Teacher Aid

The Reno Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. is a non-profit 501C3. The mission is to provide educational information on Earth Science to our community. The presentation to school-aged students lasts an hour but is modified to meet classroom needs. The Education Outreach program is in its eighth year of presenting the “World of Rocks and Minerals.”                  

A typical presentation:

Safety regarding abandoned mines. Pictures of notable minerals show examples used daily at home and school. Discuss the carbon cycle, Nevada’s famous minerals, Igneous rock building basalt and feldspar, ash, sulfur, and obsidian. Weathering and sedimentary rocks: limestone, gypsum, calcite. Metals: copper, steel, aluminum, and lithium. Quart varieties, and flint,   Finish up with fossils mineralization. The presentation takes 40 minutes, allowing students 15 minutes for rotations to handle and ask questions about the materials. The programs end with fluorescent rocks shown under black light and a long-wave flashlight.

Depending on the preference of the instructor, there are different contents as outlined below: 

Kindergarten and First grade usually combine classes with more fun in enjoying the rocks and minerals with a brief explanation and some interesting stones. K-1 Landforms, Mountain building, weathering, erosion, “if it’s not grown, it is mined,” mineral uses.

 The second and Third grades emphasize protecting the soil. Identify mineral uses, plate tectonics, mountain building, weathering, erosion “if it’s not grown, it is mined,” technology, electrons moving in fluorescent materials—optional topics: earth structure.


 Fourth through Sixth grades rock cycle with igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, including common metals, carbon cycle, quartz, fossils, and Nevada minerals.  A general overview of plate tectonics, volcanic process, mineral uses, technology, the demise of dinosaurs, and electrons moving in fluorescent materials. Optional topics:  Core rotation creating electoral magnetic radiation, earthquake actions, and batholiths, freezes and thaw aspects of weathering,

Students/participants get hands-on experience by picking up and handling the specimens. There is a small rock gift for each student/participant and teacher in the Elementary Grades. 

Junior and High School presentation discusses the carbon cycle, lithification, and plate tectonic overview describing accumulation theory of the West coast of North America. The subduction process creates the batholiths that made the Sierra Nevada Range, fossils, and fluorescent materials—optional topics: the mineral process using the Bowen Reaction Series.

Teachers with specific topics are prepared to the ability of the presentation team.  We are not geologists but have a great interest in earth science.       

Steve Norman, MA 

The program aligns with Washoe Country Science Standards*. 

K-LS1  From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes  7K-ESS2 Earth’s Systems 8 K-ESS3

1-LS1  From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes 12 1-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe 14

2-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe2-ESS2 Earth’s Systems 20  3-ESS2 Earth’s Systems    28              

3-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity 29

4-LS1 from Molecules to Organisms: Structures, Processes 34-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe 344-ESS2 Earth’s Systems   35   4-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity 36

5-PS1 Matter and its Interactions 38 5-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe 43 5-ESS2 Earth’s Systems 445-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity 45

Middle School Physical Sciences 47  MS-PS1  Matter and Its Interactions 54  MS-LS1  From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes 61  MS-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe 68

MS-ESS2 Earth’s Systems 70 MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity 72

High School Physical Sciences 75  High School Earth and Space Sciences Storyline 79

HS-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe 97  HS-ESS2 Earth’s Systems 99  HS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity  101

C: Future Rockhounds of America (FRA)

The schedule for 2022 is for Saturday from 2 PM to 3:30 PM.  The dates are October 22, November 12, and December 10.  

 Students from ages 6 to 16 are invited to attend.  Students earn badges from the American Federation of Mineral Societies.  Students build a collection of rocks, catalog, and label, then store the collection for easy viewing.  The program involved learning many areas of Earth Science including, rocks and minerals and their characteristics as well as their uses.  The rock cycle will be taught as well as mineral identification, and geology concepts including volcanoes and plate tectonics, making crystals, some basic skills at beading, wire wrap, and art projects with rocks.

Our goal is to make learning a part of having fun with lots of hands-on activities.

Please email  or give me a call at 775-560-4782 if you are interested in the program for your child or with your child and a friend. You do not need to be a member to attend. Preference will be given to Reno Gem and Mineral Society, Inc. members and their families if the classes become cumbersome with too many students. 

Classes are instructed by Society members including Steve Norman, a retired school teacher.      

Classes will be held at The Rock Building 480 South Rock Blvd, Sparks, NV, This is the classroom and meeting room for the Reno Gem and Mineral Society, Inc. on the corner of Pittman and Rock Blvd.  across from Delmar Furniture Store.   

D: History

Each year, the Reno Gem and Mineral Society’s Educational Outreach Team presents a program to local schools and other interested groups.  The mission is to develop an interest in minerals and earth sciences. The Education Outreach team was busy in 2019 when the World of Rocks and Minerals was presented by society members Rachel Carroll, Sven Sander, Kate Tangren, Bobbi Metzger, San Knipmeyer, and Steve Norman. We reached about 1,500 students across 52 classrooms in 18 schools, as well as Scout troops at four libraries, and two Outdoor Experience camps.  Introduction to Agates was presented by Lori Peterson at two Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classrooms.  Web Varnum also presents mineral education to students in the rural areas of central Nevada.

Each group of students was given a rock as a gift, some of which were provided by John Peterson, Sam Knipmeyer, Alan Metzger, or Steve Rose.  Nevada Division of Minerals provides safety information to all participants to stay out of mines with flyers and other fun novelties for students.


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